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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

errors. This is often revealed in the crudity of its
treatment of human motive—as though the followers
of Marx were not sufficiently interested in human nature
as such, not sufficiently aware of the universe that lies
inside a personality. Economic self-interest becomes
not merely a bias inside human beings, not merely a
factor amongst the other factors in life, not merely a
fundamental feature of history—all of which it certainly
is—but the perpetual motor of men's activity and the
standing subject of their mental calculations. The error
is perhaps not inherent in the Marxian method as
such, but it springs from what we popularly "call
materialism and shows that the Marxists, like the rest
of us, are able to create pitfalls for themselves, so that
they end by stumbling into their own traps.

At the same time, the actual processes of history are
distorted through this error to a less degree than some
people might imagine. E in real life a man is not
interested in promoting his business, we may applaud
his disposition, but his place in the story will be taken
by people who do have the push; and it seems to me that
the course of economic history will run on much the
same. Also we must note that, in a certain peculiar
sense, which some of the Marxists seem to realise, the
operation of the economic factor in history must be
regarded as covering a wider area than that of the
economic motive as such. One of the necessary clues
to the understanding of diplomatic history is the fact
that a man in Paris and a man in Berlin can never quite
see one another's point of view, however generous and
understanding they may try to be. In a parallel manner

9°